Monday, 7 March 2016
Huntsman of New York
Incident on 57th Street
A rough calculation on the back of my hand tells me that 60% of Huntsman's customers come from the other side of the Atlantic, so it makes total sense for Huntsman to establish an outpost in the former British colonies.
Huntsman opened the doors to their New York gaff last month (130 West 57th Street, 7th floor). Pierre Lagrange, Huntsman's owner and chairman does not think the opening compromises Huntsman's Savile Row reputation. After all, most Savile Row tailors organise trunk shows around the world. This just offers Huntsman's American customers a permanent address to gravitate towards, and a corner of a foreign field that is forever Huntsman showcasing the best of British. Being on the 7th floor, it's a fairly discreet base (they are certainly not aiming to compete with the footfall at nearby Nike Town). As Pierre says of the opening:
'In a 167 year old business, there are traditions to nurture and others to challenge. While making garments by hand in a similar was as they were in 1849 ensures a quality rarely equaled with modern techniques, in today’s world, I felt we should be closer and able to better serve our clients in America, where the largest Huntsman client base lives and works. A New York presence was a logical next step, and with our pied-a-terre we’re able to bring a little bit of our iconic Savile Row environment to the U.S.'
What matters here is that there will be no change to the tailoring traditions of Huntsman. This extends to the ready-to-wear collection. This spring and summer, the tailoring uses hopsack and lightweight wool suitings that are 'hand-cut and sewn entirely in England' and accessories that are made entirely in the British Isles. For the shirts, Huntsman has collaborated with famed Jermyn Street shirtmaker Emma Willis. The shirts are traditionally made at her Gloucestershire workshop, cut to a silhouette exclusive to Huntsman that is designed to sit well under Huntsman’s (signature) one-button suit coat.
I am rather drawn to the Huntsman blazer and cream trouser combination in the photo at the top — not to mention the rather snazzy pool table, though it should be a snooker table by rights (harumph).
I don't see the blazer in the ready-to-wear collection (what a lovely blue), though similar cotton trousers are available as I write.
The Ecru Cotton Trousers trousers are made from a cotton and cashmere twill, and have slanted frogmouth front pockets.
Also from the ready-to-wear, the Mid Grey Fresco Suit (below) would cut quite a dash in the warmer months Classic one-button Huntsman cut in light and breezy Fresco cloth (Which they say is a delight to tailor).
Note that the ready-to-wear jackets and trousers are basted and unfinished at cuff and hem for alteration in shop.
Perfectly tempting for a sultry summer in New York.
'What's the use of a great city having temptations if fellows don't yield to them?'